The influence of angular misalignment on fixed-portal intensity modulated radiation therapy

Daniel A. Low, Xiao Rong Zhu, James A. Purdy, Svante Söderström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A method has been developed to estimate potential dose errors due to linear accelerator angular setting misalignments of Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) treatments. A first-order approximation to the dose error at a point is modeled as the dot product of the dose gradient and the shift vector of the point due to the rotational error. The analysis method is applied to a previously published set of optimized fluences for a 50 MV IMRT pelvis irradiation. Three of the published cases exhibiting u wide range of modulation are presented; a rectangular open field, a field optimized for a static multileaf collimator defining the portal outline coupled with a single broad bremsstrahlung profile modulation, and a fully modulated field using a physical modulator. To examine the energy dependence of angle setting errors, the study is repeated using the same fluerice distributions, but with a dose- spread kernel appropriate for a 6 MV photon beam. The collimator angle error is set to 2°, and the dose error determined with both a centrally located isocenter and an isocenter chosen to model a split-field geometry. The dose error due to a 2°gantry setting error is ussessed at a plane 10 cm distal to the isocenter. The mathematical form of the dose error due to couch motion is similar to the other two errors, so the dose error resulting from a couch angle missetting is not presented. The magnitude of the errors is largest for the 6 MV beam, while the volume encompassed by the errors is greater for the 50 MV beam. The gantry error yields the largest dose error values, with the 6 MV modulated case presenting dose errors of greater than 40%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1139
Number of pages17
JournalMedical physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy


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